Chairman, President and CEO, CSX Corporation

The 31,000 employees of CSX Corporation are defining how tomorrow moves. With the economy gaining momentum and the nation committed to a sustainable future, America’s freight railroads are the right solution at the right time to serve the nation’s increasing transportation needs and contribute to compelling environmental benefits.

We are embracing this unprecedented opportunity by making major capital investments in transportation infrastructure, hiring at the highest levels in the modern era, and focusing intently on making a safe railroad even safer.

CSX has spent nearly $7 billion of our own money over the past three years to maintain and upgrade infrastructure and prepare for future growth. These investments in essential components like rail, crossties and equipment, are heavily focused on upgrading our network for double-stacked containers, which enable us to convert even more highway traffic to rail. That reduces wear and tear on the nation’s roadways and supports improved air quality.

For example, the National Gateway is a public-private partnership to create a double-stack cleared rail route that links Mid-Atlantic ports with Midwestern markets. A proposal to increase the capacity of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in the District of Columbia is integral to the National Gateway’s success.Why are infrastructure investments so important? The American Society of Civil Engineers recently graded the state of U.S. infrastructure as a “D+,” and warned that without increased investments, the nation’s competitiveness on the world stage would be jeopardized.

Investment is just one of the challenges to upgrading and expanding infrastructure. The nation’s permitting process is often slow and discourages improvements. Without a streamlined permitting process that both protects public interests and doesn’t unduly delay needed projects, infrastructure won’t keep pace.

Today, CSX is contributing to environmental sustainability by moving a ton of freight an average of 450 miles on a gallon of fuel – a startling fact that has policymakers everywhere showing renewed enthusiasm for freight rail.

Those policymakers are central to our future by supporting balanced economic regulation of railroads and incenting additional private investments in infrastructure. That’s how we’ll meet today’s transportation needs and prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.